I was delighted to find an Alan Dean Foster novelization of a film, PALE RIDER, I haven't seen since I was a kid. As I've mentioned before, I was a big fan of film novelization as a kid and Alan Dean Foster (whose ALIEN adaptation I wrote about here) is one of the all-time greats of novelizations. I look forward to reading this one quite a bit.
I was also glad to find I AM LEGEND as I've read all of Matheson's crime and western novels, but somehow none of the sci-fi or horror he's best known for. As many regular visitors probably know, I read mostly crime, mystery and western novels after spending a great deal of my life reading almost-exclusively fantasy and sci-fi. Somehow, though, I never got around to reading the stuff Matheson is known for, such as I AM LEGEND and HELLHOUSE. His crime and western novels are pretty sub-par, but I expect great things of I AM LEGEND. I mean, it is a legendary piece of literature, pun intended, so it has to be good.
I've also mentioned before what a big fan I am of Erle Stanley Gardner, creator of attorney-detective Perry Mason. Aside from his PM novels (he wrote over eighty, by the way, from the early 30s until the early 70s and his passing), I've read many of his Cool & Lam detective series and some of his standalone novels, and I have to say: I've never read an ESG novel I didn't enjoy. Some of his books are better than others, but I've yet to find one that wasn't thoroughly enjoyable. They do certainly fit a pattern, a template ESG created and was comfortable with, but the details of each are unique and never fail to delight me. That said, I cleaned the place out of Erle Stanley Gardner books. Literally. Never hurts to stock up on a good thing.
Lastly for commentary: the Mickey Spillane novel, his first, I, THE JURY. I've read half a dozen Mickey Spillane novels, and many more completed by Max Allan Collins (my favorite living writer) and if I'm completely honest, I'm not a huge Spillane fan. I totally understand his appeal, but the books just don't do much for me. That being said, I'm still willing to give them a try when I come across ones I haven't read because a man who sold so many books and made so many people happy doing so, had to be doing something right. At any rate, this copy of I, THE JURY was seemingly in nearly-pristine condition. When I opened it up at home, though, I noticed someone had underlined and circled dozens of lines and individual words in the text and written notes in the margins. Mostly the notes run along the lines of, "Could be said by Dirty Harry???" and "Find definition???" I'm a little annoyed I didn't realize the book was so marked up, but I'm also curious about the person who left them. I'm guessing the note-writer was young, at the time, based on the enthusiastic use of question marks and the nature of the notes themselves, but I'll never know. That's part of the fun of used books: wondering at their origins.
That's it for now. Hope all of you had a good holiday weekend!